BALLSTON SPA – The Ballston Spa Education Foundation held its annual fundraiser this month, giving attendees a chance to sample food from some of the area’s most popular eateries.
The Ballston Spa Softball Booster Club is having a dine-to-donate event at The Sunset Cafe in Ballston Spa 5-9 p.m. Jan. 9, 2016.
Present the above coupon at the cafe, and 10 percent of your check’s value will be donated to the booster club.
Having a community event? Post it to the Ballston Journal Online>>> http://theballstonjournal.com/events/community/add
Story updated 4/28/15: The 2015 event raised $3,700.
BALLSTON SPA – The Ballston Spa Education Foundation (BSEF) held its’ annual fundraiser, “A Taste of Ballston Spa” on Monday, Apr. 20 from 6–8 p.m. at the HVCC TEC Smart Campus, 345 Hermes Road in Malta. [Read more…]
Ballston Spa Education Foundation Raises Funds, Receives Donations
BALLSTON SPA — The Ballston Spa Education Foundation’s (BSEF) “A Taste of Ballston Spa” raised over $4,000 for educational enrichment and grants given to teachers and students in the Ballston Spa School District. [Read more…]
BY SAM CAPUANO
One of the most enjoyable aspects of writing this column is when I learn of wonderful causes for the first time. Ditto when I become aware of Ballston Spa youngsters conducting themselves in a way which would be admirable for a person of any age, and outstanding for someone of their own years. So last week when both came into play it was quite heartwarming indeed. Throw in a little community togetherness, and it’s going to be a great week.
The cause is the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which is a volunteer-driven charity in place to help out in the fight against childhood cancer. The Foundation has been around since 1999 and was started as a way to perhaps help ease the stigma of young cancer patients who have lost their hair due to their chemotherapy treatments. To this end others shave their heads bald, and they get pledged funds which go to the Foundation. As many of the corresponding events take place around March 17th, the Foundation takes it name via a combination of “bald” and St. Patrick’s Day. Pretty neat idea, with a clever name to boot.
According to their website, in 2011 the St. Baldrick’s Foundation raised over $28 million, with 45,335 shavees. Not bad at all.
I confess I had never heard of this terrific organization until last week when I, along with many others, was invited to Sunset Cafe by Ann Mahlitz. Her son Hunter was the guest host at the restaurant one evening, with a portion of the receipts going to the St. Baldrick’s cause. So, guests could come in, enjoy a pulled pork quesadilla, down a “house rocks salt” and help aid in the cause for kids with cancer. What’s not to love about that?
According to his mother, Hunter has seen the horrors of cancer afflict several of his family members. This is one of the reasons he is now in his third year of working to further the cause and raise money. Sunset Cafe owner Annelise Kavanaugh told me the event at her restaurant was very successful towards Hunter’s fundraising goal.
But he wasn’t finished. A few days later Hunter was center stage, with others, at the Ballston Spa Middle School matinee presentation of “Annie.” Doing his best Daddy Warbucks impersonation, during the intermission of the show he had his head shaved. Based on the picture I saw, he looked pretty dapper with his new bald pate.
Hunter is not the only one. As St. Patrick’s Day nears, it appears as though several people in the Ballston Spa community are doing their part as well. Our Publisher informed me of others around town who are also raising funds for St. Baldrick’s head shaving events. Becky Cook is very active online and works tirelessly to raise awareness in honor of former BSpa graduate Daniel Canary, who passed away in 2009, at the age of 27; elementary school student Riley Walz who has already raised over $2,000 in support of his classmate Hannah Hughes, even PTA Mom Karen Parlapiano, has left donation cans at a number of businesses around town and also plans to shave her head.
Count me among the many who have seen what childhood cancer can do. It cost me classmates in both elementary and high schools. I will also never forget a visit to Roswell Park Cancer Center in Buffalo a few years ago to visit my young cousin. I walked around the halls and saw firsthand the sadness of the kids, most of whom are bald. It is for them and others that St. Baldrick’s Foundation was created. And Ballston Spa is all over it this year. And my guess is they will be for years to come as well.
Getting back to Hunter, it looks as though his efforts thus far have been pretty successful. He has already surpassed his goal of $500, so he is now looking ahead to a St. Baldrick’s fundraiser on March 10 at Saratoga City Tavern. When all is said and done, he now hopes to double the original goal.
Ann Mahlitz, as you may guess, is quite touched by her son’s efforts. “This is truly a community event,” she said. “I am so proud of Hunter for doing this again.”
For those interested in learning more about the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, and/or to help out Hunter, go to: http://www.stbaldricks.org/search/everythingresults/searchValue/Hunter+Mahlitz/submitEverything/Search/
BY SAM CAPUANO
What makes something a holiday-type event? What brings people together? What makes something super?
I pondered all of this as I readied myself for another Super Bowl Sunday last week. What is it about this day which brings things to a halt across this country, and brings everyone together?
This year’s edition was Super Bowl XLV. Why they decided to use Roman numerals for these games is beyond me. The first Super Sunday I remember was Super Bowl V. One letter. I guess they were unsure if the game would still be going strong XL, er 40 years later.
The game back then was just that, a game. A championship game to be sure, but a game. It started earlier in the afternoon, which gave people less time to get liquored up beforehand, and also made for a much more productive Monday for students and workers alike.
Just five years earlier, it was even less of an event. Pat Summerall, who called so many Super Bowls, was interviewed about the first Super Bowl last week on ESPN radio, and described how much things have changed.
For one thing, both CBS and NBC televised the game. And, CBS apparently didn’t know what to make of it. As the second half started, they asked Summerall (who was working the sidelines) if he would ask Packers’ Coach Vince Lombardi if he wouldn’t mind re-kicking off. Seems the broadcast missed this little detail. Why? They were interviewing Bob Hope. While Summerall refused, somehow Lombardi, Vince Bleeping Lombardi, was persuaded to re-kick. I don’t remember any re-kicks when Janet Jackson had her wardrobe malfunction at halftime a few years ago.
Super Sunday these days is all about the event. Actually even more than that. It’s about the day. Since the game now starts at 6:30 p.m., it means hours and hours of pregame shows. I am not a pregame guy. Fortunately other Super Sunday traditions are now available. As I have young kids, the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet is now required viewing. There is always a marquis NBA match up early in the day as well. And, what would a Super Sunday be without hours and hours of chick flicks?
Most Super Bowl parties begin at 6:00 p.m. or so, which seems about right. There are also several good local places to watch. Certainly the BrickYard Tavern works, what with all their TVs. Two popular spots, Bentley’s Restaurant and Sunset Cafe’, are owned by rabid fans of the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers, respectively, so there can be some fun to be had there as well.
I’ll never forget the shock and euphoria at Bentley’s following the Pats’ stunning last second win over St. Louis in 2002. A similar roar erupted from Sunset two years ago with the Steelers’ late come from behind victory over the Cardinals. Even though I am not a fan of either team (journalistic ethics preclude me from reporting my favorite team. Besides my damn Cleveland Browns have never even played in the Super Bowl), one can’t help getting caught up in the excitement of such games when they are part of a crowd such as during those games.
Then, there are the commercials. The first Super Bowl commercial I remember was some hair product ad featuring Roger Staubach and Bob Griese, who were the starting quarterbacks in Super Bowl V. The players’ hair is still a popular feature with Madison Avenue these days, although Troy Palamalu and Clay Matthews ‘dos are hardly reminiscent of those two old QB’s. Even still, the commercials were as closely scrutinized as the game Sunday. The consensus at my party was the Doritos ad with the pug knocking his owner over was the best. The Doritos ad with dude licking his friend’s fingers the worst. It is the day after as I write this, and more people were talking about the ads than the games. And how the cameras caught Cameron Diaz feeding Alex Rodriguez. Awwww. And, Ewwwww.
So then, what is it that makes Super Sunday an event? Still not sure, but from the bleary-eyed looks of everyone around the office today, and those I saw walking around town today, it is definitely an event. Now, if someone could just help Christina Aguilera remember the words to the National Anthem…